Your Life A to Z Recipe: Monday, February 3rd, 2014: Sea Scallops with Pearl Barley, Spring Vegetables & Lemon Thyme Butter

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Sea Scallops with Pearl Barley, Spring Vegetables &
Lemon Thyme Butter

Yield:    2 servings                            

4 each            Sea scallops, approx. 1-1/2 oz each
To taste        Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp            Olive oil
1 small        Yellow squash, diced
1/2 cup        Barley, cooked in 2-3/4 cups water
1 cup            Vegetable stock
1-1/2 cups        Asparagus, cut in 1” pieces (approximately 6 large spears)
2 tsp.            Fresh thyme
2 cups            Red chard or other braising green, cut in strips
2 each            Plum tomatoes, cut in chunks
2 tsp            Lemon zest
1/4 cup        Crème fraiche (substitute sour cream)
1 Tbsp            Butter
2 Tbsp            Hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1.    Heat a steel sauté pan over high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper; add 1 Tbsp of the olive oil to the hot pan and carefully lay in the scallops. Sear well on one side, turn and cook to medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2.    Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add yellow squash and cook until tender (approx. 2 minutes). Add cooked barley and 1 cup stock; bring to a boil.

3.    Stir in asparagus, thyme, greens and tomatoes. The mixture should somewhat resemble a risotto at this point. Stir until asparagus is done and liquid thickens.

4.    Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk the lemon zest into the crème fraiche, season with salt and pepper.

5.    Stir the butter into the barley mixture, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Arrange two scallops on top of each serving and place a spoonful of crème fraiche between them. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and serve.